Police praise London bus CCTV as 'major' tool against crime


CCTV standards on London buses are now so good that the Met Police sees the system as a 'major tool' in its fight against crime.

According to Richard Sorrell of the force' Roads and Transport Policing Command, the overall identification rate per image circulated is around 50%.

He attributed this success level to improved working relationships between bus companies and the Met, so that 'the time taken to request and retrieve CCTV footage has fallen accordingly'.

The dedicated Transport Data Retrieval Team, set up in 2009 to standardise formats for effective image transmission, handled 13,478 police requests in 2015.

Regular meetings with bus companies discuss technology updates and procedural issues, and enable the Met to pass on 'good news' stories on the role of CCTV in arresting suspects for crimes including robbery, sexual offences, assault and public order disturbances.

Offences committed on the London bus network fell by 5.7% in 2014/15, the ninth consecutive year of reductions, with the overall rate now standing at 7.2 crimes per million passenger journeys.

This marks a fall of over 60% since the installation of CCTV became compulsory on London’s buses, with all 8,500 vehicles now equipped with systems linking up to 16 individual cameras.

Lynne Beale, project manager for Arriva UK Bus, said that the company’s technology 'enables us to isolate the exact piece of footage that we require'.

A spokesperson for Stagecoach London told Transport Network that 'the Met police have told us that they are very pleased with the quality of our images'.

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